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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-11

Coping preferences of head and neck cancer patients - Indian context

1 Departments of Psycho-oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar, Chennai, India
2 Psychology, University of Madras, Chennai, India
3 Surgical Oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar, Chennai, India
4 Surgical Oncology, Ramakrishna Mission Hospital, Coimbatore, India

Correspondence Address:
E Vidhubala
Departments of Psycho-oncology, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar, Chennai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.25768

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Background: Cancer is a major health-related stress and demands adequate coping. Patients with head and neck carcinoma (HNC) often face exhaustive and debilitating treatment as well as physical and functional residual effects such as disfigurement, compromised speech, dry mouth and difficulty in swallowing. Understanding how patients cope with these challenges is important in comprehensive care of patients with HNC. Objective: To assess and evaluate the coping preferences of head and neck cancer patients. Materials and Methods:Towards this goal, a prospective study was conducted at the Cancer Institute (WIA), Chennai. 176 HNC patients participated in the study. The age group ranged from 19 to 87 years. The questionnaire used for assessing coping preferences was Jalowiec coping preference scale containing 40 items, with responses ranging on a 5-point scale. The variables chosen were treatment, site, education, survival, age and gender. Statistical analysis used: SPSS 9.0 version was used for both descriptive and multivariate analysis. Results: No significant difference was observed in the preference of Emotion-Oriented Coping (EOC) in relation to age, treatment, site, education and survival. Treatment, site, education and gender showed significant differences in the preference of Problem-Oriented Coping (POC). There was, however, no difference in the preference of POC among the patients with different survival periods and age. Conclusion:In conclusion, HNC patients adapt both EOC and POC during the course of the illness. Literates, males and patients subjected to different modalities of treatment preferred more of POC compared to other groups.


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